The Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2016 has been awarded to the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk (Poland).
The museum was selected from a shortlist of three candidates by the Culture Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) at a meeting today in Paris.
According to the rapporteur on the Museum Prize, Vesna Marjanovic (Serbia, SOC), this museum is “a fascinating example of a cultural institution working to promote freedom and solidarity. The events it recounts and its programme make it a forum for modern Europe. It succeeds in making the history of the trade union Solidarnösc a powerful and moving source of inspiration for civic engagement and action. The Centre connects history with life and makes a direct link between culture and democracy.
Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, thoughts are returning of building new walls. The European Solidarity Centre’s aim is to provide factual back-up for organisations working for the common good, freedom and human rights”.
The Council of Europe Museum Prize has been awarded annually since 1977 to a museum judged to have made a significant contribution to the understanding of European cultural heritage. The winning museum will be presented with a bronze statuette, “La femme aux beaux seins” by Joan Miró, which the museum will keep for a year, together with a diploma. The prize is decided on the basis of a shortlist presented by a jury of the European Museum Forum, and forms part of the European Museum of the Year Awards.
Recent winners of the prize include the MUCEM in Marseille, France (2015), the Baksi Museum in Turkey (2014) and the Museum of Liverpool in the United Kingdom (2013).